Q: The last time I checked a bag, which was about ten years ago, American Airlines "lost" my bag on my return flight home.  When it was found a day later they delivered it to my door, about 18 miles from the airport, no charge.  But that was then -- what can expect today?  Suppose my hotel is 150 miles from the airport?  Is there a rule or a mileage limit on this -- if it's ever done at all any more? And if I pay a fee to check my bag and they lose or delay it, will they refund my money?

A: Airlines still deliver lost luggage without a fee, and we've never heard that there's a mileage limit. I recently asked the head of communications for Northwest Airlines whether they'd refund a checked baggage fee if they lost or delayed your bag, and she answered, "That's a good question. I'll have to look into that." I'm guessing that if you sqawked (or complained nicely) you'd at least get a travel voucher. Of course, we're telling everyone these days to send their belongings (without the suitcase) by FedEx Ground or UPS Ground service. If they lose or delay your shipment, they'll definitely refund your money.

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